19 facts about Riesling for International Riesling Day 2022

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Today, 13 March, is International Riesling Day 2022. To celebrate, we share 19 facts about riesling and a few French riesling recommendations.

International Riesling Day 2022

    1. International Riesling Day is celebrated on 13 March each year as this date is recognised as the birthday of Riesling. March 13, 1435 is the date of an invoice, which is the oldest documented date referring to Riesling or Riesslingen as it was called in Germany – the heart of Riesling – at that time.International Riesling Day 2022


    1. Riesling is originally a German varietal.


    1. Riesling d’Alsace is an A.O.C. and is a different grape variety from just Riesling. Rieslings from Alsace are different from German Rieslings. Alsatian Rieslings generally have a higher alcohol content than their German counterparts, around 12%. Alsace Rieslings are generally dry with cleansing acidity. Quality vintages can be aged for up to 20 years.


    1. The cultivation of French Riesling is dominated by Alsace where the Rhine touches the Taunus mountains, where the good weather, the terroir and the cool climate favour Riesling.


    1. Riesling is known to have been planted in Alsace in 1477, when the Duke of Lorraine praised its quality.
      la journée internationale du riesling


    1. Until the early 1990s, Riesling was the most widely planted white grape in Australia, when Chardonnay became much more popular..


    1. The warmer Australian climate produces riesling grape skins that are up to 7 times thicker than grapes grown in Germany!


    1. Riesling is also grown in Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Luxembourg, northern Italy including Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Croatia, Austria and central Europe including Romania and Moldova, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, China, Ukraine and the United States (Washington, California, Michigan and New York), as well as in the surprising wine regions of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.


    1. Riesling is a natural derivative of gouais blanc, a French grape that is the grandmother of many of today’s best known wines, including chardonnay, riesling, petit verdot, chenin blanc and muscadelle. Gouais Blanc was widely cultivated by the French and German peasantry in the Middle Ages.

      International Riesling Day
      gouais blanc


    1. Its other parent is a cross between a wild vine and a Traminer. It is assumed that the Riesling originated somewhere in the Rhine Valley, as both Heunisch (gouais blanc) and Traminer have a long documented history in Germany, but with parents from both sides of the Adriatic, the cross could have occurred anywhere along the way.


    1. Riesling grapes are yellow or pale green, then mottled all over with pink and light red spots.

    International Riesling Day


  1. Riesling is a versatile grape varietal – dry, sweet and semi-sweet wines are made from Riesling grapes.


  1. Although rarely seen, red Riesling exists in Germany and Austria where it is known as ‘roter Riesling’. The skins are dark pink, but the resulting wine tastes similar to its white counterpart.


  1. Riesling wines offer fruit aromas (berries, fruit, citrus). It is not unusual to find aromas of apricot, nectarine, peach, apple, pear, pineapple, lime or Meyer lemon.


  1. On the nose, you can expect herbal, spicy, floral, mineral, earthy aromas. You may also find honey, honeycomb, beeswax, petrol, ginger, citrus blossom, rubber or even diesel fuel.


  1. Aged Rieslings may have aromas of diesel, petrol or lanolin.


  1. Riesling is well known for cleansing the palate after a spicy meal.
    International Riesling Day 2022


  1. It is also a great dessert wine.


  1. The high acidity of Riesling wines makes them suitable for aging.




Clutch Wines

Henri from Clutch Wines shares two recommendations for International Riesling Day 2022.


Which riesling do you recommend for International Riesling Day 2022?

Le 2011 Domaine Binner Riesling – Alsace et le  2014 Domaine Bohn Riesling Schieferberg ‘Biodynamic’.



Beautifully aged to taste the potential of its variety. Intense flavours that are really well integrated and low acid to balance out the fruit profile.


What would you pair it with?

I would pair it with an amazing Grilled King George Whiting with some green vegetables to follow. 


The Merchant Group

Daniel Airoldi from The Merchant Group (formerly known as d’Airoldi Fine Wines) shares his recommendation for International Riesling Day 2022.


la journée internationale du rieslingWhich riesling do you recommend for International Riesling Day 2022?

The Riesling 2019 ‘Lieu dit Pfoeller’ du Domaine Justin Boxler in Alscace



This is a superb representation of an Alsatian Riesling with classic strength but held in balance by its directness and acidity and finishing with a touch of salinity.


What would you pair it with?

With choucroute garnie, of course, but also with a seafood platter.


Do you have anything to add?

Riesling is a grape variety worthy of aging in the cellar for several years, and for the best, several decades.

Happy International Riesling Day 2022! What Riesling will you be drinking today?

If you like French grape varieties, read the following articles:

Cabernet Franc Day 2021: facts and recommendations

International Syrah Day: discover the wine and some recommendations

Merlot Day 2021: 17 things you didn’t know about Merlot

Discover 15 things you didn’t know about Carignan for Carignan Day 2021

International Viognier Day: an Australian celebration for a French varietal

International Sauvignon Blanc Day: all about sauvignon blanc and which ones to drink



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